Let’s get the politics out of the way first. Predictably, inaccurately, the Washington Post article on “smart gun” gun designer Ernst Mauch asserts that “Second Amendment advocates” and the NRA (‘natch) are blocking the U.S. Armatix iP1 “fearing the technology will be mandated.” To be clear, New Jersey has a law that does just that. Three years after any gun store in the U.S. offers the first “smart gun” for sale, all new guns for sale in NJ must be equipped with user-recognition technology. So it’s not paranoia that prevents Mauch’s handiwork from gaining acceptance among gun owners. It’s the fact that anti-gun politicians want to ram these unreliable, remote controllable firearms down owners’ throats. OK, so, here’s what inspired Mauch to develop the iP1 . . .
The name Les Baer conjures up an image of expert gunsmiths sitting in well lit rooms that smell faintly of Flitz and CLP. I like to imagine them taking their time with each and every single action masterpiece so that they can make each one feel loved and have enough time to sprinkle some magical gunsmith dust into each and every beautiful blued frame. The one we’re taking a look at is a well-used Thunder Ranch Special in .45 ACP. The TRS is kind of unique in that it was designed in conjunction with Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch to be the perfect combat 1911. And when I say it’s well-used, I mean over 6,000 rounds fired by me in a dozen ranges across Texas. So I think it’s safe to say that I’ve put enough rounds down range to make an informed decision as to its quality . . .
Back in the day, I couldn’t afford a Porsche. Or a BMW. Or a Ferrari. Sad to say, I drove a Ford Pinto station wagon. With Pirelli P3 tires. And various handling and engine upgrades. Mods that turned a car famous for exploding in read-end collisions into . . . a reasonable-handling Ford Pinto station wagon. After that, I upgraded to a Mazda RX-4. All the while knowing that nothing I could do short of total reinvention would make either car what I wanted it to be: a Porsche, BMW or Ferrari. And then, even if I had, it would have cost so much time and money that I’d wonder why I hadn’t just bought the real thing. Eventually I did. Which is the same reason neither I, nor anyone in their right mind, would ever spend $4300 transforming a Hi-Point into a competition GLOCK, Springfield or Wilson Combat killer. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
So Jerry Miculek shoots a balloon at 1000 yards with a revolver, aiming 75 to 80 yards above the target (figuring a 150 ft. drop). In other words, he lobbed the bullet on target like a mortar round. Which is exactly how Karl Lippard [may have] shot his infamous 800-yard grouping with his Combat NCO 1911 back in 2011. In the latter case, we never got anything like independent confirmation or convincing video evidence. In the former, GET SOME! Quite why you wouldn’t use a rifle at that distance I have no idea, save sh*ts and grins. Of which Mr. Miculek delivers many. Of which Mr. Lippard delivered none, at least intentionally. And therein lies the tale of two shooters and a whole lot of distance shooting. [h/t SS]
Let’s be clear about “smart guns.” American gun buyers don’t want firearms equipped with an authorized-user recognition system because they don’t trust the technology. They don’t trust “smart guns” to fire when they need them to. They don’t trust the government not to disable the guns remotely. The first issue can be overcome. The second can not. Which pretty much dooms “smart guns” to a niche market. At best. But it’s nowhere near best, thanks to the New Jersey legislature . . .
Brannaird Riley’s next door neighbor is a Marine at Cherry Point MCAS, Lance Corporal Marianne Lee. Corporal Lee was packing her belongings for a move back to California when she “tried to make her 9mm pistol safe.” That’s how witn.com sets the stage for what you know is about to follow. But before we get to the ballistic denouement, I’d like to point out that unloading a gun isn’t a particularly intellectually challenging task. Assuming we’re talking about a semi-automatic pistol, you just point the gun in a safe direction, drop the mag, rack the slide, rack the slide again (why not?) and Bob’s your uncle. Oh, and keep your finger off the trigger. Hang on. It seems that Corporal Lee wasn’t making her gun safe after all . . .
Force Science News’ latest email blast links us to a UK study at scienceandjusticejournal.com: The ignitability of petrol vapours and potential for vapour phase explosion by use of TASER® law enforcement electronic control device. As we’re too cheap to purchase the study, and most of our readers possess a modicum common sense, I’ll give you Force Science’s best excerpt and put the abstract after the jump. “When the CEW discharged, the room was instantly engulfed in flames. In less than 1.5 seconds, heat at the officer’s head and hand level reached nearly 800 degrees Fahrenheit. ‘The police mannequin showed severe [burns] to about 20% total body surface area,’ the researchers report. (The dummy’s Kevlar vest tended to protect the chest area.) For the suspect mannequin, there was ‘almost 100%’ total body surface burned–’very probably fatal for a person if accompanied by inhalation injury.’” So now you know . . .
Joe Riggs out of UFN 51 after ‘unfortunate accident’ with gun, the headline at mmafighting.com proclaims. Setting aside the “unfortunate” descriptor, I’m not a big fan of the word “accident” when it comes to negligent discharges. I prefer “negligent discharge.” It’s a term that ascribes blame for an inadvertent ballistic event. “The UFC announced Tuesday that ‘Diesel’ injured his hand while cleaning his own pistol and won’t be able to recover in time for the UFC Fight Night 51 card in Brasilia, Brazil, on Oct. 13.” Yeah, about that cleaning thing. Are there really people stupid enough to shoot their hand before cleaning their gun? Shouldn’t that whole “accidentally shot himself while cleaning his gun” thing be reserved for police suicides, protecting widows’ pensions? Anyway, the passive part . . .
A departure from your traditional gun review, what follows is more of a “shootout.” It’s a review of the SPHINX SDP Compact Alpha through the lens of how it compares to the CZ P-07 and the popular CZ 75 line. You see, in the 80′s SPHINX began producing pistols for the first time, and it did so by licensing the CZ 75 design. Since then it has modified and adapted CZ’s platform, all with Swiss precision and the attention to detail, finish, fitment, and materials that SPHINX has been known for. To some, it’s an upscale CZ. The question, then, is what can you expect from a $1,295 SPHINX that you don’t get from a $510 CZ? . . .
The all new, striker-fired Ruger® LC9s™ features a short, light, crisp trigger pull for faster shooting and improved accuracy. The LC9s™ provides slim, lightweight and compact personal protection with a blued, alloy steel slide, a high-performance, glass-filled nylon grip frame, aggressive checkering and an easily acquired 3-dot sight system. The LC9s™ uses all LC9® accessories and holsters and is just slightly larger (less than 1″ taller and 1″ longer) than the popular and incredibly compact LCP® . . .
Were you as excited by the original announcement of the R51 as we were? Were you then equally as horrified that a company with the history and tradition of Remington would release a QC-free POS like that upon the gun-buying public? If you were an early adopter (or just missed Nick’s review) and laid down some cold hard cash for one, Remington’s finally acknowledging the debacle and they’re trying to make things right. Friday afternoons are when everyone releases bad news so Big Green’s just let it be known that they’re offering to replace your R51 (with one that, you know, works, we presume) and will throw in two new mags and a custom Pelican case for your trouble. Their announcement after the jump . . .
It happened to me! Foolish human that I am, I decided to use my range bag for a carry-on for a trip to the UK. Before departing The Land Of the Free and the Home of the Brave for The Land of Hope and Glory, I searched the bag with a fine-toothed comb. OK, nit-pickers, I used my hands. Anyway, I missed a single, solitary .22 cartridge – worth $42.70 at today’s prices – wedged deep into a side seam. The TSA missed it as well (they were busy frisking someone in a wheelchair). But not the UK scanners. My ten-year-old and I were given the third degree. Thankfully, eventually, the MP5-wielding police let us go without a cavity search or sanction, save a stern talking to. We could have been arrested. Check this tale from Pakistan [via zeenews.india.com] . . .